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Unit 1: it's nature and perspectives

changing attributes of place

when an area is globalized and its landscape is transformed. (changing the way a landscape appears by modernization or migration to an uninhabited space ex: taking a desert and building a river through it)

Cultural attributes/ cultural landscape

the fashioning of a natural landscape by a cultural group


the frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area ( ex. arithmetic density and physiological density)

arithmetic density

The total number of people divided by the total land area.

physiological density

The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture


the spreading of a feature or trend from one place to another over time


the region from which innovative ideas originate.

relocation diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.

expansion diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process.

hierarchical diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend from one key person or node of authority or power to other persons or places.

contagious diffusion

The rapid, widespread diffusion of a feature or trend throughout a population.

stimulus diffusion

The spread of an underlying principle, even though a specific characteristic is rejected.

absolute direction

the EXACT way or direction to get to something (north,south,east,west)

relative direction

Directions such as left, right, forward, backward, up, and down

concentration/ dispersion

the spread of something over a given area

absolute distance

Exact measurement of the physical space between two places.

relative distance

Approximate measurement of the physical space between two places.


the arrangement of things across earths surface

environmental determinism

A nineteenth- and early twentieth-century approach to the study of geography that argued that the general laws sought by human geographers could be found in the physical sciences. Geography was therefore the study of how the physical environment caused human activities.

absolute location

The position of place of a certian item on the surface of the Earth as expresed in degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude, 0° to 90° north or south of the equator, and longitude, 0° to 180° east or west of the Prime Meridian passing through Greenwich, England.

relative location

where a place is located in relation to another place

site location

physical placement of a property and its surrounding vicinity

situation location

the location of a place in relation to other places or larger features

place name

Often referred to as a places toponym (the name given to a place on Earth.) ( the name of which a geographical place is known)

linear pattern

type of arrangement of objects in space that is in a line, such as arrangement of houses along a street

centralized pattern

type of arrangement of objects in space that centralizes around one node or center point

random pattern

a type of dispersion where individuals in a population are spaced in a patternless, unpredictable way

physical attributes

Natural Landscape


The theory that the physical environment may set limits on human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to the physical environment and choose a course of action from many alternatives.

formal region

An area in which everyone shares in one or more distinctive characteristics

functional region

a region defined by the particular set of activities or interactions that occur within it

vernacular region

A place that people believe exists as part of their cultural identity.


the relationship between the the portion of earth being studied and earth as a whole (the size of an object on a map compared to the size of the object on earths surface


pertaining to space on the Earth's surface; sometimes used as a synonym for geographic.

spatial interaction

the movement of people, goods and ideas within and across geographic space


a change in the shape, size, or position of a place when it is shown on a map

Geographic information system

a computer system that can capture, store, query, analyze, and display geographic data

global positioning system

a navigational system involving satellites and computers that can determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by computing the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver


a network of horizontal and vertical lines that provide coordinates for locating places on a map


A two-dimensional, or flat, representation of Earth's surface or a portion of it.

map scale

symbols that help to measure distances on a map

thematic map

A type of map that displays one or more variables-such as population, or income level-within a specific area.

statistical map

A special type of map in which the variation in quantity of a factor such as rainfall, population, or crops in a geographic area is indicated; such as a dot map

cartogram map

space is distorted to feature a particular attribute (ignores size/shape)

dot map

maps where one dot represents a certain number of a phenomenon such as population

choropleth map

a thematic map that uses tones or colors to represent spatial data as average values per unit area

isoline map

Map displaying lines that connect points of equal value; for example, a map showing elevation levels

mental map

your perspective on what the world 9or a certain area looks like)


geographers use models to explain patterns, make informed decisions, and predict future behaviors


translating the earth onto a flat map

remote sensing

The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or other long-distance methods.

time zones

one of the 24 regions or divisions of the globe approximately coinciding with meridians at successive hours from the observatory at Greenwich, England.


The relative ease with which a destination may be reached from some other place.


the making of maps and charts


when a group of individuals are close together in one area, gathered in a small, close group; bunched


The actual or potential relationship between two places, usually referring to economic interactions.


the spread of something over a given area

conformal maps

Maps that distort area but keep shapes intact.

coordinate system

a standard grid, composed of lines of latitude and longitude, used to determine the absolute location of any object, place, or feature on the earth's surface.

cultural ecology

Geographic approach that emphasizes human-environment relationships.


the frequency with which something exists within a given unit of area


The process of spread of a feature or trend from one place to another over time


scattered, spread, broken up

distance decay

The diminishing in importance and eventual disappearance of a phenomenon with increasing distance from its origin.


The arrangement of something across Earth's surface

equal area projection

Map that maintains area but distorts other properties.


imaginary line that runs around the earth halfway between the North and South Poles; used as the starting point to measure degrees of north and south latitude

expansion diffusion

The spread of a feature or trend among people from one area to another in a snowballing process

friction of distance

a measure of how much absolute distance affects the interaction between two places


Actions or processes that involve the entire world and result in making something worldwide in scope

globalizing forces

Forces that cause or help globalization.


the region from which innovative ideas originate

homogeneous region

regions with distinct characteristics that is common to all parts of that region. Example residential or commercial, war-time homes or brick homes that all look the same. (corn field)

international date line

An arc that for the most part follows 180° longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross the International Date Line heading east (toward America), the clock moves back 24 hours, or one entire day. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead one day.

intervening opportunities

the idea that one place has a demand for some good or service and two places have a supply of equal price and quality, then the closer of the two will get the job, thereby blocking the other from being able to use its supply

large scale

zoomed in maps that allow you to get a closer look at towns and cities


The numbering system used to indicate the location of parallels drawn on a globe and measuring distance north and south of the equator

local uniqueness

Unique features of a place


position of anything on earth's surface


the numbering system used to indicate the location of meridians drawn on a globe and measuring distance east and west of the prime meridian

map projection

a projection of the globe onto a flat map using a grid of lines of latitude and longitude

mental map

your own interpretation of what the world (or a place) looks like, An internal representation of a portion of Earth's surface based on what an individual knows about a place, containing personal impressions of what is in a place and where places are located.

mercator projection

these maps show true direction and land shapes fairly accurately, but not size or distance. Areas that are located far from the Equator are quite distorted on this type of map. Alaska, for example, appears much larger on this type of map than it does on a globe.


an imaginary circle passing through any place on the earth's surface and through the North and South poles. (vertical lines)


a circle drawn around the globe parallel to the equator and at right angles to the meridians


geographic arrangement of objects in space


a specific point on earth distinguished by a particular characteristic

prime meridian

The meridian, designated at 0° longitude, which passes through the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England.


the system used to transfer locations from earths surface to a flat map

regional studies

An approach to geography that emphasizes the relationships among social and physical phenomena in a particular study area

remote sensing

The acquisition of data about Earth's surface from a satellite orbiting the planet or other long-distance methods.

robinson projection

Projection that attempts to balance several possible projection errors. It does not maintain completely accurate area, shape, distance, or direction, but it minimizes errors in each

sense of place

state of mind derived through the infusion of a place with meaning and emotion by remembering important events that occurred in that place or by labeling a place with a certain character


The physical character of a place


The location of a place relative to other places.

small scale

zoomed out map of an area or region/ the world where you can see more land but less detail


The physical gap or interval between two objects.

spatial perspective

observing variations in geographic phenomena across space

thematic layers

individual maps of specific features that are overlaid on one another in a Geographical Information System to understand and analyze a spatial relationship.

time-space compression

A term associated with the work of david harvey that refers to the social and psychological effects of living in a world in which time-space convergence has rapidly reached a high level of intensity.

tobler's first law of geography

"Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things."


the name given to a portion of Earth's surface.


The costs involved in moving goods from one place to another

transnational corporations

companies that participate not only in international trade but also in production, manufacturing, and/or sales operations in several countries

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